A leaked FBI document reveals that members of Antifa were plotting to purchase guns from a "Mexico-based cartel associate known as Cobra Commander," and "stage an armed rebellion at the border," according to the San Diego Union Tribune, which received a copy of the unclassified report.
When federal law enforcement officials last year began collecting dossiers on mostly American journalists, activists and lawyers in Tijuana involved with the migrant caravan, one part of their investigation focused on an alleged plot by a drug cartel to sell guns to protesters, according to a Federal Bureau of Investigation report.
A Dec. 18, 2018, document from the FBI, obtained by the Union-Tribune, specifies an alleged plan for activists to purchase guns from a “Mexico-based cartel associate known as Cobra Commander,” or Ivan Riebeling. -San Diego Union Tribune
The document warns that "anti-fascist activists" had "planned to disrupt U.S. law enforcement and military security operations at the US/Mexican border."
Of note, the unclassified document labeled "law enforcement sensitive" is a portion of an ongoing investigation in which charges have yet to be filed.
"This is an information report, not finally evaluated intelligence," reads the six-page report. "Receiving agencies are requested not to take action based on this raw reporting without prior coordination with the FBI."
The FBI sent its report with “priority” to the Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, the Drug Enforcement Agency, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the Central Intelligence Agency and the National Security Administration, among other agencies.
Two people named in the report, Ivan Riebeling and Evan Duke, said the accusations are untrue and illogical.
Duke said he never met Riebeling and that Riebeling was not someone he would have associated with. -San Diego Union Tribune
The FBI report also says that a group of pro-migrant activists in Tijuana supporting the recent caravans "were encouraged to bring personally owned weapons to the border and the group also intended to purchase weapons from a Mexico-based cartel associate known as Cobra Commander, AKA the Mexican Rambo, and smuggle the weapons into the United States."
Mexican Rambo says the FBI's report is not logical, and that he's not in the carte.
"It doesn’t make any sense that someone from the United States would purchase guns in Mexico. And the Hondurans certainly didn’t bring money to buy guns. It doesn’t make any sense; in fact it’s extremely absurd to say the Hondurans wanted to attack the United States at the border," said Reibeling, who said he had helped an early caravan of mostly women and children who arrived in Tijuana - only to quickly decide that he "no longer wanted to help Hondurans" after he found them selling some of the items he provided them such as blankets, water and shoes.
"They were exchanging these items for drugs and it made me mad, and I no longer wanted to help them and I was vocal about it," he said.
Reibeling then posted a video online in which he encouraged drug cartel members to "hunt down" migrants and take them to Mexican immigration authorities.
Reibeling said he was never detained or interrogated by the FBI about his involvement with the migrant caravan. He said he took no part in trying to sell guns to anyone and that he’s not a cartel member.
“I am not cartel. I don’t sell drugs. I don’t sell arms,” said Riebeling. “I’m a revolutionary. A man who believes in his ideals, and I’m going to defend Mexico.”
The unclassified FBI report identifies Riebeling as being “associated with the Jalisco New Generation Cartel,” but Riebeling, a Tijuana resident, said he is not.
“If I were selling drugs, or guns, they would kill me,” said Riebeling.
Riebeling said he was upset by the accusations in the report. -San Diego Union Tribune
"The government of the United States knows perfectly well that I am not a member of any cartel," said Riebeling. "I have associates with several of the cartels, yes I do, but I am not a narco-trafficker and they know that."
Evan Duke, the other person named in the report, says Riebeling was not someone he would associate with because he didn't trust him, and because Riebeling had expressed negative views over social media about migrants in the caravan.
"Here I find the government again trying to tie me into some (stuff) I wasn’t involved in," said Duke, an anti-Trump activist whose work in Tijuana was monitored by federal authorities.
"We were warned to look out for him," Duke said of Riebeling. "We took the precaution to find out who he was and where he was, but we never had any contact with him. And we never saw him around the migrant caravan."
Duke thinks it might be possible that "right-wing conspiracy groups" fed false information to authorities about him - noting that a North Dakota radio talk-show host bragged on air about reporting he and his colleagues to law enforcement.
In mid-November, Duke and a group of activists began renting a house in Tijuana and hosting about 25 volunteers at a time working to counter what they viewed as the U.S. government’s violation of asylum seekers’ human rights.
The FBI’s report says the rental house in Tijuana was guarded by armed group members.
Riebeling, who also goes by the names Ivan del Campo, Ivan Mariano Martin del Campo and Jose Ivan Reiveling Sierra, has criminal records in Mexico and the United States, according to a Mexican state police document and confirmed by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration. -San Diego Union Tribune
Who's telling the truth?